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Category : Conservation

29 Dec 2016

Obama Creates Two National Monument in Southwest

Adventure Journal | Steve Casimiro | December 28, 2016

Move was widely expected, but conservationists, environmentalists rejoice nonetheless.

That President Barack Obama has been considering creating a new national monument on Cedar Mesa in southern Utah has been no great secret, but fans of federal public lands were thrilled today when Obama actually went through with it and signed the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in being and also created the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada.

“For hundreds of generations,” Obama’s Bears Ears proclamation says, “native peoples lived in the surrounding deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and meadow mountaintops, which constitute one of the densest and most significant cultural landscapes in the United States. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial sites, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record that is important to us all, but most notably the land is profoundly sacred to many Native American tribes, including the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah Ouray, Hopi Nation, and Zuni Tribe.”

02 Nov 2016

Help From Above: Aerial Photography For Science

Outdoor Photographer | Christopher Boyer | October 24, 2016

Aerial photography makes it possible to collect data for conservation research that would be difficult, if not impossible, to get on foot or by other means

It’s still dark when I climb into Red Plane, Four-Six-Bravo. As it is with my cameras, vision is not necessary to operate the buttons, dials and switches—muscle memory guides me through the startup sequence: magnetos, mixture, throttle, master, prop, starter button. The engine catches after the third revolution, oil pressure climbs into the green, and moments later I’m ascending southbound over Montana’s Gallatin Valley, a faint glow on the eastern horizon.

My GPS displays a tortuous path through some of the highest, most remote and most beautiful terrain in Montana and northern Wyoming, where I will locate and photograph 145 high-elevation ice patches scattered through the Teton, Gros Ventre, Hoback and Wind River mountain ranges.

31 Oct 2016

International Community Creates Massive Marine Reserve

Adventure Journal | Brian Khan | October 31, 2016

24 countries agree to preserve 600,000 square miles of Antarctic waters.

The creatures of the Southern Ocean just got a lot more space to roam freely. On Thursday, 24 countries and the European Union agreed to set aside a 600,000-square-mile swath of ocean — roughly twice the size of Texas — off the coast of Antarctica as a marine protected area.

It’s taken years of negotiations to get to this point, but the end result is the largest marine protected area ever created. More than two-thirds of the ocean set aside was designated a marine reserve, closing it to fishing and making it a particularly safe space for marine life to weather the pressures of climate change and overfishing. It’s a technique that’s had success in other parts of the world and in addition, scientists will also be able to use the Ross Sea as a baseline in the coming years to assess the impacts of climate change on the marine food web.

20 Oct 2016

Utah Sells Critical Desert Land to Farm Corporation

Adventure Journal | Steve Casimiro | October 20, 2016

Really think the feds should turn over lands to the states? Environmentalists are up in arms over land dump to private hands.

Comb Ridge is a dramatic reef of rock that stretches for 80 miles across northern Arizona and southern Utah and has served as barrier, landmark, and home back through the millennia. And through all those years, across the majority of that land, it’s remained open and public. But the state of Utah, which is the most vociferous of the states demanding the federal lands be turned over to state control, just sold 391 acres of Comb Ridge to a private party, Lyman Family Farms.

The transaction went through despite the strong opposition of locals and environmentalists.

07 Oct 2016

Nevada BLM Lands Suffer Vandalism, Neglect

Adventure Journal | Anna V. Smith – High Country News | October 07, 2016

The feds withdrew from Gold Butte after being shot at—now this remote slice of desert is under assault

In June 2015, for the first time since federal officers confronted Cliven Bundy and militia members over Bundy’s illegal grazing in 2014, the Bureau of Land Management sent a survey crew to the Gold Butte area near Bunkerville, Nevada. The three surveyors from the Great Basin Institute were there to inventory springs, cattle troughs and seeps. According to contemporary news reports, they encountered Cliven Bundy and his son, Ryan Bundy, who spoke with them briefly and asked what they were doing. Later that night, as the surveyors were getting into their tents, a vehicle lit up the camp with its headlights as it drove by, and shortly afterward, three gunshots rang out nearby. An hour later, they heard three more shots. The surveyors packed up in the dark, left, and did not come back. Cliven Bundy told reporters he had not fired the shots, and the BLM kept out of Gold Butte.